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How to write a Gantt Chart – an essential project tool. 【Excel Template】

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How to write a Gantt Chart - an esse...

This article explains how to write a Gantt chart on an Excel template. Since you can think about the context of each task in the creation process, you can plan the shortest project that is naturally optimized as a whole. You can also think about the appropriate work allocation for each person in charge.

(Duration: 5:04)

DOWNLOAD  ← Click this to download the “Gantt Chart” template file.

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The Basics of Gantt Chart

Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma Black Belt.

Today, I would like to talk about how to make a Gantt Chart using an Excel template.  In Lean Sigma projects, we often use this tool at the end of the Define Phase.  This is an example of a completed Gantt Chart.

(Click the image below to enlarge the image.)


From the left, there are the Task Name, Task Lead, Task Days, Start Date, End Date and Progress % columns.  The right side of the form has horizontal bar charts that represent each task’s work periods visually.

This tool better enables us to make our project plan more efficient and practical during its composition.  In my opinion, this process is more valuable than the product of the process.

For example, since it’s easy to compare the lengths of the bars visually, you can decide on more realistic task periods.  Another example is since it makes you consider the front to back relationships among the tasks, you can make an efficient and short project plan.

Preparation before making a Gantt Chart

Now, let’s practice making a Gantt Chart, but first we have to make a WBS, Work Breakdown Structure.  You can list up all the Gantt Chart’s project tasks after making the WBS.

I explained how to make a WBS in the previous videos. Please watch those too.

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You can download both the WBS and Gantt Chart Excel templates from below.

DOWNLOAD  ← Click this to download the “Gantt Chart” template file.

DOWNLOAD  ← Click this to download the “WBS” Template file.

This is a completed WBS from a previous video. Here is the section of deliverables and tasks.


How to transfer the items from WBS to Gantt Chart

We’re going to copy and paste the WBS deliverables and tasks to the Gantt Chart. However, since my WBS uses merged cells, you can’t copy and paste merged cells to regular cells.  Therefore, copy only the text in your formula bar, paste it onto the Gantt Chart.

In order to distinguish between deliverables and tasks, at the task’s cell, click “Increase Indent”, then the text will move to the right little by little. Repeat these, then here is completed entry of all tasks and task leads.


How to modify the Gantt Chart’s bars

Next, enter your project’s start and end dates in Cell E1 and G1.  Then those dates will appear on the chart header automatically.  Enter each task’s work days and the start date in the next cells.  Then, each task’s end date and the days needed bar will appear. Repeat this on all tasks, then it’ll look like this.

There is one very important thing here. When you enter each task’s start date, please do that while considering the preceding necessary processes that are required by each task.

For example, some task’s preceding necessary process is the above task, therefore, one day after the above task’s end date became this task’s start date. Another task’s necessary task is way before, so one day after this end date became the task’s start date.  By doing this, you can plan your project’s length short naturally. (Please watch the video above.  You’ll see what it means.)

Proper task allocations to your team members

Now click this upside-down triangle icon in Column E and sort by auto filter. It will sort by task lead.  You can check if your task allocation is even and practical.  If not, reallocate them. After checking all, bring the order back by “Sort A to Z” in Column B. This is a completed Gantt Chart.

Today, I talked about how to make a Gantt Chart. It is a necessary tool in project management.  Furthermore, I use this for personal events as well, like vacation trips or moving preparation. They are very useful.

With this template, you can make your own Gantt Chart very easily in a very short amount of time. Therefore, try to utilize a Gantt Chart in your work or for your personal events.

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